Massachusetts adds gender identity protection to state civil rights law

by on November 18, 2011  •  In Employment law, Transgender

The Massachusetts state legislature has amended its state anti-discrimination code to prohibit discrimination based on gender identity in employment, housing, credit and education. The legislation also expands the state hate crimes law to cover gender identity. Protection from discrimination in public accommodations was dropped from the bill to ensure its passage. The amendment, which will take effect July 1, 2012, defines gender identity as 

a person's gender-related identity, appearance or behavior, whether or not that gender-related identity, appearance or behavior is different from that traditionally associated with the person's physiology or assigned sex at birth. Gender-related identity may be shown by providing evidence including, but not limited to, medical history, care or treatment of the gender-related identity, consistent and uniform assertion of the gender-related identity or any other evidence that the gender-related identity is sincerely held, as part of a person's core identity; provided however, gender-related identity shall not be asserted for any improper purpose. 

At the municipal level, but in a quite conservative locality, Oklahoma City has amended its employment policy for city employees to ban discrimination based on sexual orientation. This article in The Oklahoman gives a flavor of the debate that preceded the vote of the City Council, which adopted the new policy by a 7 to 2 majority.


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